A STATE judge has stopped New York City from implementing its ban on the sale of large sugar-sweetened drinks that was scheduled to go into effect March 12.
In a ruling March 11, New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling said the city "is enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing" the new regulation, which would have prohibited certain establishments from selling sugary drinks in cups and other servings larger than 16 oz.
The ban was proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and adopted by the city's board of health, all members of which Bloomberg appointed.
The proposal was not presented to the city council, and one of the criticisms of the proposal was that it required legislative approval to be implemented instead of agency approval from the board of health.
Tingling said Bloomberg had exceeded his authority in going the regulatory route.
At a news conference, Bloomberg said he would direct the city to appeal the ruling and would not take it to the city council.
The ban would have applied to delis, restaurants, street carts, movie theaters and sports stadiums but not to convenience and grocery stores or drive thrus, even the drive thrus of affected restaurants (Feedstuffs, Oct. 1, 2012).
It also did not prohibit a consumer from ordering two 16 oz. servings of a desired drink or buying a 16 oz. drink and then purchasing a refill.
Tingling, responding to a lawsuit brought by beverage, restaurant and theater interests (Feedstuffs, Oct. 22, 2012), said the regulation was "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences" and would have been enforced unevenly block by block and citywide.
Violations would have been subject to $200 fines.
Bloomberg, in his third and final term as mayor, previously went through the board of health for bans on artificial trans fats and lead paint and to require calorie counts in foods to be displayed on menus or otherwise posted at chain restaurants.
His ban on public smoking was approved by the city council.